Destiny: this video game will be huge!
On 9 September 2014 a major new video game title will be released: Destiny.
This is arguably the biggest product, not just in the history of the gaming industry, but in the history of entertainment.
At $500 million the budget for this game is twice that of GTA V which was previously the most expensive game ever made, and it cost as much to make as any two of the most expensive movies ever made. Just think about that, for a moment, to put this launch into perspective. This game will be huge!
The Destiny universe is vast, interesting and beautiful -- compelling the player to explore. It's an instinct famliar to anyone who has enjoyed the very best games with an open world environment. The combat experience is a flawless mix of CoD and Halo -- arguably the best of both, along the more mysterious abilities which will be familiar to players of fantasy/adventure type games. I am hooked, after the Beta. I did not want it to end. I'm attached to my character, proud of it, and want to keep it and roll it over into the final release of the game. I had reached the level cap and acquired some really nice gear in the process. I look forward to reaching that stage again on launch day, and then venturing far beyond...
The game is made by Bungie, the makers of Halo -- very arguably the best video game, and with it the best game series, of all time. (To date, in my view, no other game has come close to the AI of the enemies in Halo 3, no other game has such a legendary, iconic, and widely recognisable soundtrack, few games if any are as visually stunning, etc.) This is the first taste that many PlayStation gamers will have of a game from this game studio, and thus a game created by true masters of the art (and indeed the science). It's published by Activision who brought us Call of Duty.
Destiny is not just another MMO/RPG/FPS game. This is the cutting edge. It's literally the best game ever made. Officially an FPS, I'd argue that this game marks the formal creation of a new sub-genre -- the FPS MMO/RPG. This is an RPG for first-person shooter players, especially if that's how you choose to play the game. You could spend all your time doing nothing but blasting enemies with a sniper rifle from a far or at close quarters with a shotgun if you wish, alongside the diverse array of other weaponry which I have not even begun to explore. FPS game features have been moving in the direction of RPG for some time. Perhaps the ball started moving with Halo 3 multiplayer when Bungie started giving Recon armour to a small elite or selected players in Halo 3-- yeah, I got my recon head. Since then we've seen an increasing trend towards progressing your character online with unlockable gear and features -- e.g. in the Halo franchise since Reach when it was primarily cosmetic, and of course in CoD. With hindsight, this will be seen as a path taking FPS in the direction of RPG's addictive character-centric model.
The MMO/RPG genre is in decline, and the pure FPS genre is always the most popular game type, so I salute Bungie for daring to release something different like this. FPS is my preferred genre, but I do appreciate a good MMP/RPG game. At one time on WoW had two top level characters (with top end gear) -- incidentally on opposing sides on one server, which was interesting. ;) I've also done almost everything there is to do and seen everything there is to see in previous RPG masterpieces on the console like Fable 1 to 3, Oblivion and Skyrim. Bungie and I are like old friends -- it was Halo that got me into gaming, all achievements and SLASO on Halo 3, spent a lot of time on all Halo titles and look forward to the next one now that Microsoft are carrying the torch.
Having just spent all weekend playing the Beta, I am in a position to confirm that this game is a true, vast, epic masterpiece. I confidently predict that it will out-sell Call of Duty, as others have already anticipated, with at least 15m to 20m copies sold. On top of that there will, of course, be DLC content to expand the product. This is big business.
There's not much I can say that hasn't been said elsewhere already. So allow me to offer some comments and predictions that have not yet been mentioned anywhere. I predict that it will be possible to buy vehicles with guns on them, something not yet announced, because it seems to be that the Sparrow vehicle is heavily based on the Chopper from Halo 3. I also predict that eventually a whole new class of character will be introduced to the game on top of the initial three. I recall how a new class can dramatically change rejuvenate a game as the Paladin did in WoW, and would not be surprised to see a similar hybrid class in Destiny combining combat with more of a focus on healing/boosting team-mates.
28 July 2014